Former executive chef at The Optimist to open restaurant in Decatur

A restaurant inspired by Ernest Hemingway is set to open in Decatur next year.

The White Bull -- named because Hemingway referred to the blank page as "the white bull" -- will open at 123 E. Court Square next to Brick Store Pub in early spring 2018.

The restaurant, which will offer a "menu of simple, farm-forward American fare," will be overseen by executive chef and partner Pasquale "Pat" Pascarella, who previously served as execuitve chef of Ford Fry's West Midtown restaurant The Optimist and also served a stint in the kitchen at Le Bernardin in Manhattan. Gabriele Besozzi, who previously served as service manager at The Optimist, will serve as partner and general manager. He has also worked at restaurants in London, New York, Miami and his native Italy.

The menu, "a nod to Hemingway's literary style," will feature 15 seasonal dishes with a global bent, five of them pasta dishes made from flour milled at the restaurant. The drink menu will also offer a rotating list of seasonal beverages.

The 75-seat restaurant's design, another nod to the "blank page" vibe, will feature neutral interior walls, an open, long rectangular gathering space and bar and details including antique cigar boxes.

The White Bull will by open from 5-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. for bar and 5-11 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. for bar and 5-10 p.m. for food Sunday.

The space was previously occupied by Truman Tavern, which shuttered in September , and Colbeh Persian restaurant.


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